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He Shines in All That's Fair: Culture and Common Grace [Paperback]

By Richard J. Mouw (Author)
Our Price $ 13.18  
Retail Value $ 15.50  
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Item Number 144017  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   112
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.08" Width: 6.14" Height: 0.28"
Weight:   0.4 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 21, 2003
Publisher   Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN  0802821111  
EAN  9780802821119  

Availability  124 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 26, 2016 03:51.
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Item Description...
How can one account for the presence of goodness in a fallen world? In this robust treatment of common grace, Mouw reinterprets Calvinism for the 21st century.

Publishers Description
How do Christians account for the widespread presence of goodness in a fallen world? Different theological perspectives have presented a range of answers to this fundamental question over the centuries. In He Shines in All That's Fair Richard Mouw brings the historic insights of Calvinism to bear on this question and reinterprets them for a broader audience at the turn of the twenty-first century. Mouw examines long-standing Reformed arguments between those who champion the doctrine of common grace and those who emphasize an antithesis between the church and the world. Defenders of common grace account for the goodness in the world by insisting that God's grace goes beyond salvation to more general gifts of beauty, virtue, and excellence to all human beings - including those who do not believe in God. Those who reject the doctrine of common grace, on the other hand, emphasize the fallenness of the world and the need for the church to maintain a dramatic contrast to it. These divergent theological perspectives, while seemingly remote and abstract, lead to questions with very practical implications: What common ground do Christians share with those outside the faith? How should Christian treat their non-Christian neighbors? How should Christians relate to the world around them? Does God disapprove when Christians form close friendships with people who are "of the world"? Ought Christians to identify with the joys and sorrows of those who do not confess Christ as their Savior and Lord? In the course of this book Mouw looks at these topics, connecting the larger theological discussions to pressing issues in contemporary society. He insists that we have much to learn from thinkers who have rejected the idea of common (non-saving) grace, but he also defends the traditional common grace teachings, showing how they provide an important basis for wrestling with key challenges in present-day culture. Ultimately, Mouw argues forcefully for a Calvinism that is capable of standing in awe before the mysteries of God's gracious dealings with all human beings - and indeed the whole creation. Presented as the 2000 Stob Lectures at Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary, these soundly reasoned, elegantly written chapters offer an updated, robust understanding of common grace that will be of great value to anyone interested in the relation of church and culture.

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More About Richard J. Mouw

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Richard J. Mouw (PhD, University of Chicago) is professor of faith and public life at Fuller Theological Seminary. He served as the president of Fuller Seminary for twenty years and previously taught at Calvin College and the Free University in Amsterdam. He is the author of numerous books, including Uncommon Decency: Christian Civility in an Uncivil World and Talking with Mormons: An Invitation to Evangelicals. Douglas A. Sweeney (PhD, Vanderbilt University) is professor of church history and the history of Christian thought and chair of the department at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he also directs the Jonathan Edwards Center and the Carl F. H. Henry Center for Theological Understanding. He is the author of numerous books, including Jonathan Edwards and the Ministry of the Word and The American Evangelical Story.

Richard J. Mouw currently resides in the state of California.

Richard J. Mouw has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Calvin Institute of Christian Worship Liturgical Studies

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Good thoughts on common grace  Feb 7, 2007
Common grace is a topic that I have never thought of in depth. This book helped me to think through some of the implications of holding to this doctrine. Having grown up with the idea that really good Christians are vocationally in full time Christian ministry, the doctrine of common grace has become important to me as I attempt to find satisfaction in the secular workforce. This book helped me along this path in several ways.

However, there are a couple of caveats...
First, Mouw is a Kuyperian Calvinist through and through. While this is not a bad thing, he can write with the assumption that everyone reading his book grew up in a Dutch Reformed background.

Second, his arguments are from logic and confessions first, while scripture is moved to a secondary and supporting role. This book should have been filled with biblical support, but it was not.

Although I like his writing and would encourage those who want to read some interesting and good thoughts about common grace, it's not a book I can broadly recommend due to the lack of Scriptural support.
Liberated from the subculture  Jan 11, 2007
Great book that will help liberate Christians from the Christian subculture that has abandoned its call to shape culture for the well being and flourishing of the greater human community. The Church needs to reclaim its place in the culture as a contributor to the arts, politics, law, and finance for the glory of God and the gladness of his creation. Very provocative.
God's glory revealed in Common Grace  Jan 11, 2003
What does it mean for the Christian to be "in the world, but not of the world?"

Mouw's treatment is very balanced and christocentric. He avoids the pitfall of a separatist fundamentalist approach that would have the church isolated in a Christian ghetto for the sake of some well-intentioned, yet misguided, notion of purity. At the same time, he avoids the temptation of many Christians today who uncritically accept the ethos of an increasingly secular society.

Mouw's solution to the question of how we as Christians relate to the surrounding culture is through the classic Reformed doctrine of common grace. Even though non-believers do not participate in God's saving grace, they do participate in God's grace that is common to all of humanity. On the basis of common grace, a Christian may enter into friendships with non-believers, appreciate the beauty of art produced by non-believers, and partner with non-believers for the improvement of society. The difficulty, that Mouw recognizes, is in discerning the appropriate type of involvement with persons in the non-believing culture. Sometimes we can draw too far back from being a witness for Christ, and sometimes we can get unnecessarily entangled and even seduced by the culture. Nevertheless, the task of every Christian is to "make disciples of all of the nations", and that requires engaging the culture at some level. In the end, Mouw would have us err on the side of the "wideness of God's mercy" as opposed to living in isolation.

I never had the privilege of meeting Richard Mouw when I was a student at Fuller, but I wish I did! If you are familiar with the themes and history of Dutch Reformed theology, you will benefit greatly from this book. However, even if your knowledge of Reformed thought is sparse, you will still profit. Even if you do not know all of the thinkers that Mouw discusses, you will appreciate how he explains the issues in a biblical manner that impact all Christians everywhere.

My only qualm with the book is that I wish Mouw had spent more time doing exegesis of the Scriptures, but I think that was partly due to the fact that the book was originally a set of lectures meant to address theological themes. If one reads the references mentioned in Mouw's footnotes, then you will find plenty of Scripture to work with.

Thoughtful Defense of Common Grace  Dec 30, 2002
I purchased this book after hearing Dr. Mouw's presentation at a conference at Calvin College. In it, he accomplishes much: he delivers a brief but cogent explanation of common grace, fairly represents the alternative argument against common grace, and encourages the reader to consider the importance of so-called "common grace" ministries. Any controversy as Mouw describes it between common and particular grace is rooted in differences primarily among Dutch reformed congregations. However, the differences have wide cultural implications and strike at the heart of how the Body of Christ responds to the non-Christian world. Theological nuances aside, Mouw encourages us to consider all that God creates to be fully worthy of our respect and compassion - including those who do not appear to be among the elect.

The beauty of this book is in its brevity. Mouw provides an excellent introduction to the theology of common grace, a brief explanation of supra- and infralapsarianism (an important but obtuse theological distinction), and most importantly, how common grace translates to the exercise of compassion through common grace ministries like psychotherapy. I highly recommend this book.

Embracing Culture  Jan 3, 2002
In this short volume (100 pages), Richard Mouw discusses the roots and implications of the doctrine of Common Grace. Though written for an audience familiar with Reformed theology, Mouw's defense of Common Grace should be required of all (especially evangelical) Christians who struggle with the implications of what it means to be "in the world but not of the world." The author's argument is sophisticated and he makes a powerful case that there is much in God's creation that Christians should embrace.

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